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Day Trip to St. Andrews

Last Saturday I took a school-sponsored day trip to St. Andrews. We rode on a bus and arrived mid-morning. Several people gave us recommendations for food, including Fisher and Donaldson, which has the world’s best donuts, and Jannetta’s Gelateria. The first stop we made was to get the infamous fudge donut, which definitely did not disappoint. I played the role of tour guide the next few hours, following a self-guided walk around the town thanks to my Rick Steves Guidebook. We first visited the 18th hole of the Old Course, the world’s first golf course. Sitting nearby is the Royal and Ancient Golf Club Clubhouse. Until recently women were not allowed to enter the building and today no one, no matter the gender, is allowed to go in unless he/she is a member.

After buying a souvenir golf ball, we continued the trip to a monument dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Scottish Reformation. The obelisk stood near the ocean and from this spot we could see the beach where scenes from Chariots of Fire were filmed. We continued walking down the narrow streets until we found one of the University of St. Andrews dorms. Dorm is one word to call it, although I think that castle is a more accurate term for the beautiful building.

After this we went to the Glass House for lunch, where we sat on the second floor overlooking one of the three main streets in the town. Once fortified, we visited the castle, which hardly can be classified as a castle, as it was mostly ruins of stone. It was small but intriguing. Next we visited the Cathedral, which included a graveyard, ruins of what once must have been a magnificent church on a hill, and a tower. We climbed 160+ narrow, spiral stairs to reach the top of the tower, but the magnificent views justified the climb.

Once we made it down the spiral staircase, we walked along the pier. The smell of the saltwater and the views of the extremely blue sea made me almost wish I had gone to the University of St. Andrews instead of the University of Edinburgh. That said I rationalized that while St. Andrews was a neat town to visit, Edinburgh is bigger and has more to offer.

Our final stop of the day was at Jannetta’s Gelateria. There was a long line out the door, but we finally made it to the front of the line where there were dozens of flavors. I ended up getting a scoop of chocolate fudge brownie and scotch (because why not!) gelato. They were both excellent. Our day was completed and we headed home. St. Andrews is a quaint town that I would like to visit again before I leave, but for now I will continue exploring Edinburgh.

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